L$D And The Speed Of Post-Internet Content Creation
On Sunday afternoon, the L$D video “DONT SMOKE MY BLUNT BITCH,” a collaborative effort from Grimes, Kreayshawn, Blood Diamonds, and Tragik, debuted on Tragik’s Tumblr. The video was accompanied by this bit from Tragik: “We did this song in 10 minutes and the video in under an hour…. TRIPPY.”
It was an interesting, almost brag-like note — L$D were bringing attention to the speed with which they created their collab and unleashed it upon the Web. “DONT SMOKE MY BLUNT BITCH” is raw and clearly DIY, and it probably won’t win a production award unless it’s in the quickness category. But the fact that a music video so hastily thrown together can garner so much attention, so quickly, illustrates the sea change in the way music can be created by tech-savvy and budget-conscious musicians. (A note to tech-savvy and budget-conscious musicians: Having Grimes and Kreayshawn in the mix doesn’t hurt.)
Less than 24 hours after posting the video, Grimes tweeted, “@KREAYSHAWN @ladytragik @BLOOD_DIAMOND5 already getting emails of ppl trying to book L$D for shows haha.” Tragik tweeted back, “@Grimezsz damn…. It started with you sneaking off in the middle of a convo to make a punk beat real quick lol.” Tragik’s initial Tumblr post credited the song to “@KREASHAWN @Grimezsz @ladytragik @BLOOD_DIAMOND5,” fitting for a project that is firmly post-Internet, as Grimes once described her music in a sit-down with Interview Magazine.
“If you have a microphone, a little MIDI interface for like $150, and Logic, that’s pretty much all you need,” says Michael Thurber, the musical director and co-founder of the YouTube channel “CDZA.” CDZA, short for Collective Cadenza, creates experimental music videos featuring original compositions on quick turnaround. “You can knock it out.”
I came across the “DONT SMOKE MY BLUNT BITCH” video Sunday night on Facebook, at least one social network removed from Tragik’s original post on Tumblr. That’s the way L$D meant it to happen. For post-Internet performers like Kreayshawn and Grimes, social media isn’t second nature, it’s first nature. Hell, on Wikipedia, Kreayshawn’s music is described as “Tumblr-wave.”
The endless process of reblogging and sharing across social networks is nothing new, and allows a video like L$D’s to disseminate exponentially faster than it would have in the pre-social networking age. The video now has more than 76,000 views. One YouTube commenter left a comment on the L$D video that joked, “Kreayshawn plus a lot of other ‘post-mainstream mainstream satire’ acts that i will NOT mention now have been created by anonymous producer “Steinvord” in his spare time, mainly for a laugh but for societal experimentation purposes too.”
Grimes later replied, via Twitter, of course, “its true that L$D is really a secret project of Steinvord.”
“TRIPPY” is right.